A rising TCK celebrity: Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards. Source:www.mtv.com/news/articles/1726078/lupita-nyongo

The MTV movie awards were held this past weekend, and one of the celebrities who attended was Lupita Nyong’o. When people look at Nyong’o, they see a beautiful black woman with a last name that is impossible to pronounce. Little do they know, Nyong’o identifies as Kenyan-Mexican. Her parents are from Kenya, and she was born and educated in Mexico. She is of Luo descent, which is the third largest ethnic group in Kenya, after the Kikuyu and the Luhya.

Since her career took off, Nyong’o has written, directed and starred in several movies, documentaries, short films and music videos. Her breakthrough role was in the 2013 movie 12 Years a Slave, as a salve name Patsey. Her iconic performance won her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, as well as two Screen Actors Guild awards. Critic Peter Travers wrote, “She is a spectacular young actress who imbues Patsey with grit and radiant grace.” Another critic, Ian Freer of Empire said, “She gives one of the most committed big-screen debuts imaginable.”As a TCK, Nyong’o was born in Mexico, then briefly moved to New York, and then to Kenya before she was one year old, because of her father’s job. At the age of sixteen, she went back to Mexico without her parents for seven months to learn Spanish. Later, she attended college in the U.S. In 2008, Nyong’o moved back to Kenya to star in a Kenyan television series called Shugg. The show was an MTV Based Africa/UNICEF drama about HIV/AIDS prevention.

Lupita Nyong’o at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards. Source:www.mtv.com/news/articles/1726078/lupita-nyongo
Lupita Nyong’o at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards

Also, by winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Nyong’o became the sixth black actress to ever win the award, the first Mexican actress to win the award, the first Kenyan to win an Oscar, and the fifteenth actress to win an Oscar for their debut performance in a feature film.

She is fluent in many languages including Luo, English, Swahili and Spanish. She also gives speeches about the beauty of black women. Needless to say, Lupita Nyong’o is quickly becoming one of the most famous TCK celebrities in Hollywood. Her career has just begun and her inspirational acting skills have earned the affection of movie lovers everywhere.


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  1. I think she is a gorgeous and talented individual. I can’t wait to see more work from her!

  2. Loved the article! I’ve been meaning to see 12 years a slave for awhile now!! It’s nice to have some more background on the leading lady!

  3. Great article on a celebrity that is actually interesting and deserves some attention! 

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